Thursday, January 1, 2009

Moving Into 2009

It's now nighttime on the first day of 2009, and The Jess and I have rung in the New Year right! An excellent New Year's Eve dinner, some games, a big breakfast and a bunch of football. She's having a nap before dinner, and I want to share some thoughts I have for the direction of this space for the year.
So a few aesthetics first. The sidebar has been cleaned up for the New Year; I've taken the Reading List for 2008 and put it into a post with an archive link in the section, same with the Reasons Why The Jess Is Cool. Both will, I assure you, rapidly fill up over the course of '09. Also, I've removed the Recent Refreshment section, but any new drinks and roasts will most assuredly be written about.
This year, I plan to pick up a new thread of study by bringing together our work on the Lost Cause with extended readings on Reconstruction and its attendant difficulties and tragedies. This was spurred by some reading just before the end of the year when I completed Stephen Budiansky's "The Bloody Shirt". This book, along with Piston's "Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant", will be reviewed shortly, but the lid has been blown off of subject matter I haven't explored since my senior year at UCLA in 1998. I'm champing at the bit to get into this, we're in for some challenging and emotional work.
Texts by Blight, Foner, and Fitzgerald are going to be the cornerstones initially; these books are chosen because of their status as pillars of Reconstruction scholarship. I need to get back to fundamentals on this subject because Budiansky's book opened my eyes to just how deep our common misperceptions of Reconstruction run (and it wasn't even that great a book!)
As we move forward, I am prompted by a recent post at "Past in the Present" about citations of sources in blog posts. There is no industry standard, but as I have done in the past, please be assured that if you ever have a question about my source material, I will gladly provide any references I have used.

No comments: